Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 191. Background Checks for Child Welfare Agencies

22VAC40-191-10. Defining words and phrases.

The following words and terms when used in this regulation shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agent" means a person who is empowered to act on behalf of the applicant that is an association, partnership, limited liability company, business trust, public agency, or corporation in matters relating to a child welfare agency.

"Applicant" means the person applying for approval or licensure as a (i) licensed child-placing agency; (ii) licensed independent foster home; or (iii) foster and adoptive home approved by a licensed child-placing agency. In the case of a sole proprietorship, the applicant is the individual owner. In the case of a partnership, the applicants are all the partners. If the applicant is a corporation, association, or business trust, the applicants are officers. If the applicant is a limited liability company, the applicants are the members or managers. If the applicant is a public agency, the applicant is the person responsible for the overall operation of the public agency.

"Approved" means having obtained the status of approval through the process required in Standards for Licensed Child-Placing Agencies (22VAC40-131). Approved foster and adoptive parents include resource, foster, adoptive, treatment foster, and short-term foster parents and families approved by child-placing agencies.

"Background checks" means a sworn statement or affirmation, a criminal history record report, and a child protective services central registry check.

"Barrier crime" means a conviction identified at § 19.2-392.02 in the Code of Virginia.

"Central registry" means the record of founded complaints of child abuse and neglect maintained by the Department of Social Services.

"Central registry finding" means the record of founded complaints of child abuse and neglect for an individual.

"Central Criminal Records Exchange" or "CCRE" means the information system containing conviction data of crimes committed in Virginia. The system is maintained by the Department of State Police.

"Child-placing agency" means (i) any person that places children in foster homes, adoptive homes, or independent living arrangements pursuant to § 63.2-1819 of the Code of Virginia; (ii) or a local board that places children in foster homes or adoptive homes pursuant to §§ 63.2-900, 63.2-903, and 63.2-1221 of the Code of Virginia; or (iii) an entity that assists parents with the process of delegating parental and legal custodial powers of their children pursuant to Chapter 10 (§ 20-166 et seq.) of Title 20 of the Code of Virginia. Officers, employees, or agents of the Commonwealth, or any locality acting within the scope of its authority as such, who serve as or maintain a child-placing agency, shall not be required to be licensed.

"Child welfare agency" means a child-placing agency, children's residential facility, or independent foster home. For purposes of this chapter, the requirements for child welfare agencies also apply to foster or adoptive homes requesting approval or with approval by child-placing agencies.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services or his designee.

"Contract agency" means an entity with which the facility or a parent has an agreement to provide services to a child or children while attending the facility.

"Contract employee" means a person with whom the facility or a parent has an agreement to provide services to a child or children while attending the facility.

"Criminal history record check" means the process the Department of State Police uses to generate a criminal record report on a person. The check may be a state check generated solely through the Central Criminal Records Exchange or a check forwarded through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining national criminal history record information.

"Criminal history record report" means either the criminal record clearance or the criminal history record issued by the Central Criminal Records Exchange, Department of State Police. The report identifies convictions within the Commonwealth.

"Department" means the State Department of Social Services.

"Department representative" means an employee of the department who carries out regulatory duties or an agency acting as an authorized agent of the department carrying out approval functions. Licensed child-placing agencies have authority to approve foster and adoptive parents.

"Disqualifying background" means having an offense, as defined in § 63.2-1719 of the Code of Virginia. For the purpose of this chapter, having been the subject of a founded abuse or neglect complaint as described in "offense" includes records that have been purged from the child abuse and neglect central registry. However, no person is considered to be the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect until a decision upholding the finding has been rendered by the hearing officer after the administrative hearing, provided the person complies with the requirements for requesting an administrative hearing. No person is considered to be the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect if the child abuse or neglect finding is overturned by an administrative hearing or a subsequent court decision.

"Employee" means a person hired by a facility or with whom the facility has an employment agreement.

"Facility" means (i) a licensed child-placing agency; (ii) a licensed independent foster home; and (iii) an applicant seeking a waiver in order to establish one of the above listed entities.

"Good character and reputation" means that the person (i) maintains business, professional, family, and community relationships that are characterized by honesty, fairness, truthfulness and dependability and (ii) has a history or pattern of behavior that demonstrates that the person is suitable and able to care for, guide, supervise, and protect children.

"Independent foster home" means a private family home in which any child, other than a child by birth or adoption of such person, resides as a member of the household and has been placed in that home independently of a child-placing agency except (i) a home in which are received only children related by birth or adoption of the person who maintains such home and children of personal friends of such person; (ii) a home in which is received a child or children committed under the provisions of subdivision A 4 of § 16.1-278.2, subdivision 6 of § 16.1-278.4, or subdivision A 13 of § 16.1-278.8 of the Code of Virginia; and (iii) a home in which are received only children who are the subject of a properly executed power of attorney pursuant to Chapter 10 (§ 20-166 et. seq.) of Title 20 of the Code of Virginia.

"Involved in the day-to-day operations" means:

1. In a supervisory or management position, making daily decisions regarding the operation of the facility;

2. Counted by the facility for purposes of staff-to-children ratios;

3. Providing casework services for a child-placing agency; or

4. Having access to child-related and client-related records or to facility personnel records.

"Licensed" means having met the requirements of and obtained licensure as a licensed independent foster home or licensed private child-placing agency.

"Living in" means to reside in a place for an extended or permanent period of time.

"Local agency" means local department of social services.

"May" means has permission.

"Must" means the action is a requirement.

"Must not" means the action is prohibited.

"National criminal background check" means criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Offense" means a (i) conviction of a barrier crime, (ii) conviction of any other felony not included in the definition of barrier crime unless five years have elapsed since conviction, (iii) founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth, or (iv) a conviction of an offense set forth in § 9.1-902 of the Code of Virginia or a finding that a person is not guilty by reason of insanity in accordance with Chapter 11.1 (§ 19.2-182.2 et seq.) of Title 19.2 of the Code of Virginia of an offense set forth in § 9.1-902 that results in the person's requirement to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry pursuant to § 9.1-901 of the Code of Virginia, or any similar registry in any other state. Convictions include prior adult convictions and juvenile convictions or adjudications of delinquency based on a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult within or outside the Commonwealth.

"Other felony" means conviction for any felony in the last five years that is not a barrier crime felony.

"Parent-volunteer" means someone supervising, without pay, a group of children that includes the parent-volunteer's own child in a program that operates no more than four hours per day, provided that the parent-volunteer works under the direct supervision of a person who has received a clearance pursuant to § 63.2-1720 of the Code of Virginia.

"Search of central registry" means the process the Virginia Department of Social Services' Child Protective Services Unit uses to generate a central registry report on a person.

"Sworn statement or affirmation" means a statement completed by a person attesting to whether he has ever been (i) convicted of or the subject of pending charges of any crime within or outside the Commonwealth or an equivalent offense outside the Commonwealth or (ii) the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside the Commonwealth. Any person making a false statement regarding any such offense shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to §§ 63.2-1720 and 63.2-1721 of the Code of Virginia.

"22VAC" means Title 22 of the Virginia Administrative Code. This is the social services title.

"Volunteer" means a person who provides services without pay and who is alone with a child or children in performance of his duties.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217, 63.2-1732, 63.2-1733, and 63.2-1734 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 11, eff. April 1, 2004; Errata, 20:12 VA.R. 1526 February 23, 2004; amended, Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 22, eff. September 1, 2006; Volume 30, Issue 3, eff. December 1, 2013; Volume 33, Issue 2, eff. October 19, 2016; Volume 38, Issue 2, eff. October 13, 2021.

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